To clip DS's wings after yesterday's "issue"(81 Posts)
So DS got lost yesterday. Not a bit lost, a whole lot lost
We had gone to a local Forestry Commission site where there is a 7 mile cycle trail but on arrival it transpired my bike had a puncture
and I am shit with the spoony tool and rubber plasters Therefore I walked with the dog while DS (9 in a couple of weeks) cycled. He was instructed to follow the numbered yellow posts, not to leave the track unless he was sure it was the correct route and to return regularly. Unfortunately he took it into his head to surprise me by doing the whole circuit and returning behind me
I came to a slightly ambiguous fork in the path so waited for him to return, which he did not. Eventually I had to get the FC man to help me. After an hour (a whole fecking hour!!!) he was returned to me in the back of a pick up truck. He was a bit tearful but maintained that he was not lost as "he knew where he was" (true but not really the point of the conversation ) I was so relieved that I did not punish the complete disregard for important instructions.
Today he wanted to go up to the fields behind our cottage. This activity also comes with a similar set of rules, all of which have been adhered to in the past. Today though I would not allow him to go, partly as a consequence of yesterday and partly because I am still a little shaken and don't think my nerves would cope with it.
He is incandescent about it and has spent all day moaning about the unfairness of it all and how he is "bored"
AIBU to do this? He WAS worried yesterday so it's not like his escapade left him untouched. I just feel he needs a little reminder of his foolishness but not to make it into a big deal.
Bengal - you are hysterical, your DC are going to have serious problems, I think you are the one that needs parenting lessons, on how to cut the apron strings.
My 11/12 yr old DD and her friends are almost feral, they roam the streets in packs till teatime. She is happy, outgoing and confident, with a lovely freckly face from being outside. Slim healthy and sensible. Just the childhood I wish I had. I grew up in South Africa so it really was dangerous to play out alone.
I have to say in Uni, the kids who'd gone to Boarding School or who had more independance just seemed to knuckle down and get on with work whilst still enjoying the social scene.
The girls I went to school with who were controlled (quite cruelly IMO) by their folks just went crazy. One girl spent her days drinking herself into oblivion and running up a huge overdraft, missing lectures and sleeping off a hangover. I went to stay with her and was so shocked. As the other students didn't really know her background they found it hysterical and egged her on.
She was finally testing the boundaries but there was no one there to catch her.
You have both had a bit of a shock. you because you realise that perhaps it wasnt wise to let him go off on his own and that the two of you should have stuck together and him because he now knows how it feels to be on your own and a bit scared. give it a couple of days for you both to calm down and see it in perspective and then have a long chat about it. personally i would not have done this with a 9 yr old but then he isnt mine and I dont know what kind of person he is so cant judge.
Go to running deer, your children will thank you.
at Bengal. I accept (sort of) that it may be the norm in some places but I honestly think that you are setting yourselves up for major teenage rebellion. I clearly remember when I was a teenager that the ones with over protective /controlling parents were the ones habitually telling massive lies about where they were and who with - something which even at the time I knew to be stupid and dangerous.
OP I would have done the same. In fact, I may take my DC to our local forestry centre before the end of their holidays - 10yo DS can go off (with suitable time-based rendezvous agreed) and 6yo DD can practice closer to me.
The problem with not allowing a 12 year old any freedom is that at 18 they need to have the skills that will enable them to look after themselves completely. (I left for university 5 weeks after my 18th.)
They start their lives as completely dependent babies. We have 18 years to make them independent adults. If you are not starting that process until 15 or 16 then it will be a pretty sharp learning curve.
sorry no idea why the link didn't work.
with rope I tend to think well at least they are making an attempt at some sort of safety, they are jolly good at www.nicas.co.uk/knots ,
They are either going to tie a log on the end and try to fling it over a suitable branch, and make swing, tie it between two trees, or use it to belay each other, they never seem to have enough rope.
OP, next time he is ahead, he should like any good advance party at each junction mark the route taken, either take a leaf out of the hash house harriers, and drop a handful of flour in a little heap, a few yards down the route taken, or make a clear arrow on the floor, stones, branches, Ray Mears is full of good ideas about trail marking,
Rechargeable radios are great, make sure they have a decent range, don't bother with the "children" ones, battery life is pants, they cost very little these days.
I think seeing as Bengal is obsessed by the fact she is being picked on all the time at her work, her judgement is slightly off
I am imagining bengal's DCs as flat cats. It's not exactly cruel to keep them like that as they don't know why they are missing out on, but its not the life they should lead.
quoteunquote what a lovely post! Your DCs are c lucky to live where you do and to have a percent with your attitude.
Ah, I remember the rope requests from various parents, we would be left alone quite happily but a rope request always prompted suspicion and a visit from a parent to check we weren't about to kill ourselves (and sometimes to get involved and help with whatever plan we had). Built some fantastic swings I must say.
I think you did the right thing, he needs to learn the lesson.
And I think bengal is the one with the parenting problem, not you.
Your DCs have the childhood I hope ours will have (they are only 3 1/2 now - so we keep a closer eye on them)
I had a similar childhood and so did DH - heaven!
I live in the Sodom and Gomorrah that is SW London and dcs walked on their own to school in year 4 when they were 9.
Over a mile.
Crossing 2 roads with zebra crossings.
And they had to make their own packed lunches.
I have read them bengal's comments and they are open mouthed.
Not just you no. Mine have survived to the grand ages of 21 and 22. They frequently used to disappear off to play
-God knows what in the fields and fens out the back of here. They still hark back to the days when they had dens and played war games in the ditches, they even went swimming in the local river as older teens. It was always my view that they were more at risk from a person who knew them and knew us or from traffic than they were from a passing stranger. Life is short, childhood is shorter and should be enjoyed while it can.
"Hopefully it is a lesson learnt"
Well, that's what childhood is meant to be about topbannana .
<looks pointedly at bengal over the top of my glasses>
Phew, it seems I am not totally negligent then
He is aware that he made a mistake and after a chat, we have agreed to write a thank you card for the FC worker who found him ("even though I WASN'T lost ") as he was taken away from his own job to look for him. DH has also spoken to him about how worried he was, at work, miles away and unable to help me and he seems sobered by that too.
Prior to this DS has always been the most sensible boy you could meet so we are all (DS included) slightly taken aback by such foolishness. Hopefully it is a lesson learnt
Does he have a watch? If so could he go into the fields for a set time and have to report back at a certain time, it would make him feel more grown up and hopefully avoid the stress of him missing
Just Wow Bengal
I think everything you did was absolutely fine Op.
I'm also shit with puncture repair kits so I would have walked too
You sound to me like you need parenting skills. Allowing your 8 year old son off alone to cycling in the woods and also allowing hime to play in fields behind your cottage sounds very irresponsible to me
I need them too then.
Mine live in the fields and the woods spend most of their time out there,when they are not on the beach, at the moment they are somewhere out there building dens, damming streams, digging holes, and firing off a make shift trebuchet, making livestock do tricks, influencing the wildlife, building jumps for the bikes in the woods, setting traps. burying road kill for the skulls, climbing trees, mining, and generally having a brilliant time.
they appeared a few hours ago, made some lunch, talked me into letting them have some more rope,
and disappeared again, they'll soon reappear when they are hungry or wet, at which point they will get in a bath, eat and go to bed,
It never did me, my siblings, my husband or his siblings, my parents, my husbands's parents, any of my friends any harm.
I tend to parent with an Arthur Ransome influence.
Letting children spend their childhoods sitting in front of screens sounds very irresponsible to me, but each to their own.
I moved to this spot 22 years ago when pregnant with my first precisely so it could have the freedom to have the childhood I did, all of them have loved and gained so much from being free range children, youngest is approximately the same age as the OPs.
When a thing's done, it's done, and if it's not done right, do it differently next time.
Gosh, I think that's terrible Bengal. I feel really sorry for those kids - how on earth are they going to learn any decision-making skills?
My sister's eldest is 12, has aspergers and gets himself to his school every day across the wilds of south London - an hour's journey each way involving a bus, a train and a walk. If he can manage it, I'm fairly sure an NT child can
Agree that kids need independence to learn life skills. I used to spend all day playing in the woods, biking round various villages as a kid. The danger of abduction isn't any greater now than it was in the 70s or 80s.
My dd has had a lot of independence since 11yo, catching the bus into town to meet friends and go swimming, etc.
Sorry forgot to say I think the freedoms you give him are fine.
also should add I once did something very similar to your son at a similar age but I can pedal quicker and therefore got away with it
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